First, I’m not talking about the manipulation of nostalgia, which seems to be getting used all over the places. This is more about you walking along or sitting at your desk. Just going through the day or relaxing. All of a sudden, you get hit by a nostalgic memory that leaves you a little off. The emotional pathway for me usually goes like this:
- Memory strikes and I feel oddly relaxed.
- There’s a bout of happiness and mild euphoria as my senses go back.
- Wonderment as I try to lock down more of the memory.
- Sense of loss and yearning as it passes away.
Honestly, this feels like a cruel trick of the mind. As if it’s trying to convince you to revisit or reenact your past during a time when you can’t. Maybe my mind is trying to escape or create a pulse of happiness in a desperate attempt to ward off sadness. This has been happening a lot to me this year, which is why I’m leaning toward that option. The divorce has left me feeling alone and broken in a way that I can’t really explain it well to others, so my mind might be grasping at childhood memories. Some of them are traceable while others are incredibly random. Here are the common ones:
- There are random times when I suddenly want to play an RPG video game like ‘Illusion of Gaia’ or ‘Final Fantasy IX’. I was never the biggest player of these games, but I had a few that I loved. Those two, ‘Super Mario RPG’ ‘Kingdom Hearts’ and ‘Lunar: The Silver Star Story’ would probably be the big ones. There was something about wandering a vast world with great music and a winding tale that made me lose my worries. I simply can’t fit this old love into my life right now, so the memories leave me a little sadder than when I started. Again, no trigger here from what I can tell.
- Kind of related to the previous one, but I keep hearing music from ‘Super Castlevania’ in my head. It’s another childhood favorite that I got really good at. I’ll put one of the songs down at the button. No idea why this one turns up.
- A big one that does have a source is when I’m driving along and hit a section of the parkway that is surrounded by trees. Only happens when there isn’t traffic too, so there’s a sense of isolation in a way. I begin to remember the sense of being in the car for family trips that took us through more rural areas. Mountains, forests, farmlands, rivers, and lakes would be around us instead of buildings. I’d always zone out as a child and imagine either other worlds or beings from those worlds wandering around the landscape. Even when I was in college, I’d get this sensation as I drove from Long Island to Oswego, which is upstate New York. I kind of miss those areas and I feel like it’s hard for me to go back there. Guess the memories are connected to doing things as a family and doing it solo would twist the emotional knife.
I don’t know if there’s anything that I can use these bouts of nostalgia for. They don’t seem entirely useful in terms of inspiration. As I said, they come off as an odd defensive mechanism against some mental anguish. I don’t benefit physically from it and the fleeting happiness does more harm than good at times. Kind of fits with the way human bodies don’t make a lot of sense at times. I’d go into that, but I’m sure I’d get into a fight with people in the comments. Anyway, I can’t figure this out, but it’s enough to make me write about it.
Am I the only one who gets this? Has anybody been hit by nostalgia and figured out what triggered it? For that matter, is nostalgia a good or bad thing?
Now for the video I promised. Was torn between ‘Bloody Tears’ and the ending, so I went with the more upbeat one:
Bonus since I’d forgotten how great the opening song of ‘Lunar: The Silver Star Story’ was.